The Rwandan Civil Society Platform has come up with a strategy to and monitor the government’s implementation of 50 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Commission.
The civil society coalition announced its 4 year programme (2017-2021) monitoring and support strategy over the weekend in Kigali.
The initiative is dubbed ‘Catalysing civil society participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process for improved human rights situation in Rwanda.’
Their intervention will involve advocacy and influencing activities to drive outcomes by working closely with the government.
Andrews Kananga, the executive secretary of Legal Aid Forum, one of the organisations behind the programme, said that they would help the government ascertain how much has been achieved in the implementation process.
“The assessment seeks to ascertain the progress Rwanda has made in the implementing of the recommendations made during the Geneva Convention. The assessment will also weigh in on how the remaining recommendations will be put into action so the country goes back to the Convention with a positive feedback,” he said.
The UPR is both an internal and peer review process that involves periodic reviews of human rights records of all UN Member States.
In 2015, Rwanda’s human rights record was reviewed for the second cycle, by the Human Rights Council, where the government accepted some 50 recommendations to be implemented to improve the country’s human rights record.
Since then, an implementation roadmap of the recommendations was endorsed by the government after a comprehensive consultative process involving both state and non-state actors.
The government plans to conduct an assessment in mid-2018 on the progress.
The civil society coalition made up of 29 member organisations, is conducting a mid-term assessment on how Rwanda is implementing the recommendations.
The coalition members are clustered under four thematic working groups; access to justice, freedoms, social and economic rights, as well as women and girls’ rights.
UPR provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.
Providence Umurungi, the head of International Justice and Judicial Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice, hailed the coalition’s commitment towards contributing to the implementation of the recommendations.
“The government appreciates the contribution of the civil society in different aspects, and especially their mid-term UPR review on human rights it will make our job easy during the upcoming assessment, we want to count on their review outcomes, which we believe will be trustworthy given that they are dedicated to working closely with the community,” she said.